The Louisiana Governor’s Task Force on Transportation Infrastructure Investment has adopted 10 resolutions that address policy and financing recommendations, an action that comes after six months of meetings across the state.
Gov. John Bel Edwards will consider the resolutions in preparation for the 2017 Regular Legislative Session.
The most significant of the resolutions is the determination that an annual funding increase of $700 million is needed to finance “important A and B megaprojects” to better serve transportation system users in Louisiana. The remaining resolutions propose to set up a framework to help generate and invest the revenue.
“When the Task Force was formed, we were charged with making recommendations to address Louisiana’s multimodal infrastructure needs in a meaningful way and we have met that charge through these resolutions,” says Louisiana Department of Transportation & Development (LDOTD) Secretary Shawn D. Wilson. “The average driver in Louisiana only pays $108 per year in state gas tax, which has lost purchasing power every year since it was last adjusted in 1990. It takes funding to construct the dozens of key projects that are needed to improve safety, address congestion and facilitate economic development across the State. The time has come to do something about it. We can’t afford to standby any longer.”
LDOTD says the state has a backlog of state highway and bridge project needs valued at more than $13 billion, with $16 billion more required to address larger projects the agency house detailed in the Statewide Transportation Plan.
Such projects include widening Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge and New Orleans; building I-49 South in Lafayette; constructing I-12 on the Northshore; building I-20 in Shreveport and Monroe; replacing the I-10 Bridge over the Calcasieu River in Lake Charles; and constructing a new bridge across the Mississippi River in Baton Rouge.
The resolutions are available here.